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Family Ties Bring New Hero to Blizzard’s Overwatch

Each week on Twitch and Alpha, hosts Erika Ishii and Trisha Hershberger talk video games with special industry guests, insightful coverage and a ton of audience interaction on our show Game Engine. Be sure to tune in every Tuesday starting at 4 PM PT to learn about what’s new and cool in the world of video games.

Family has always been an important underlying theme in the world of Overwatch. Since the beginning, the conflicted brothers, Hanzo and Genji, have given us a glimpse into the tension of their struggle over the fate of their familial clan. More recently, the mother-daughter relationship between Ana and Phara has brought us more family-driven context for Overwatch’s history, along with good-natured humor, like Ana tranquilizing Phara with the motherly quip “I think justice could use a little nap.” The fanbase has even contributed with their frequent grandfatherly portrayal of Soldier 76 (which the dev team may have bolstered with his summer skin).

soldier76

Now the Overwatch family is welcoming a new hero to their ranks with open arms: Brigitte!

Brigitte

As the youngest daughter of Torbjörn Lindholm, Brigitte grew up tinkering alongside her father in his workshop; learning the ins and outs of the complex world of engineering. Where her father excelled at designing weapons, Brigitte was instead drawn to the artistry of armor and the protection of those she cared about.

Brigitte is the goddaughter of Reinhardt Wilheim, as we learn in a letter Blizzard released, written by Torbjorn, which details how he lost his arm and agreed (somewhat under duress) to let Reinhardt name his unborn child:

Torbjörn's letter

“…He has been bothering me insufferably at my bedside. Half in jest, I suggested that if it would shut him up, I would allow him to name our daughter, as he has been badgering me about it these past months. He, of course, took me at my word. Truth be told, I had been considering making him her godfather, and I hope you’ll forgive me for making this decision without your consultation. We can only hope she doesn’t take after him too much.”

To piece together how Brigitte went from being Torbjorn’s assistant to Reinhardt’s squire, you can to look to the extended lore in the animation “Honor and Glory” and the comic “Dragonslayer”. These snippets of lore show Brigitte fangirling over these two great heroes who were, to her, role models. Brigitte traveled alongside Reinhardt as he fought, patching him up when wounded, and eventually constructing his iconic armor.

brigitte3

Through Blizzard’s latest video, Brigitte Origin Story, we learn Brigitte has come to the conclusion that she can do so much more than sit behind the lines and patch her idols up when they’ve returned from combat. She’s inspired by Reinhardt and the other heroes of Overwatch to go beyond just being a squire; instead, she embraces her training so that she can fight alongside her family and act as their shield, as they do for others.

brigitte2

Brigitte is the 27th hero to join the lineup and, though she wields a flail and shield, she is actually more Support than Tank. However, her abilities make her a hybrid of the two and, thematically, Brigitte bares considerable similarities to the Paladins of Warcarft fame. Armed with a Rocket Flail, she’ll be able to attack multiple enemies at once or fling her weapon to damage targets at a distance. Similar to a paladin, she also has potent healing abilities. By throwing her repair pack, Brigitte can heal an ally, with excess healing becoming temporary armor. If the enemy has her pinned down, Brigitte can form a barrier shield to protect herself and anyone standing directly behind her from a limited amount of damage, or bash an enemy with her shield to stun them. Finally, her ultimate gives her a speed boost and lends any nearby allies regenerating bonus armor that can be really clutch when defending an objective or pushing through a choke point.

brigitte

Brigitte is still in testing right now and initial plays have seen the dev team nerfing some of her powers a bit, but from what we’ve seen already, we’re totally jazzed for this new addition to the Overwatch family. You can check out how the Overwatch team envision her playing in-game in these developers notes:

Which character should get the family treatment next? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out Game Engine (on Twitch and Alpha Tuesdays at 4 PM Pacific) to learn more about the coolest things in the world of games with Erika and Trisha.

Hailing from New York, Jessica Fisher is a writer, artist, and all around geek. In addition to Geek & Sundry, she writes for Gameosity.com and produces the Gameosity Reviews Youtube Channel. Find her talking about all things geeky on Twitter @miniktty.

Image credits: Blizzard

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